Alleged anti-Igbo comment: Catholic Church group tackles Oba Akiolu

Photo: bahamaselectricity.com

The Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria has issued a statement, condemning the alleged anti-Igbo statement made by the Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, when Igbo leaders in Lagos visited him on Sunday.

Read full statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT REACTING TO OBA AKIOLU’S CURSE ON THE IGBOS IN LAGOS

“At the national offices of Caritas Nigeria and Justice Development and Peace Commission, we are totally shocked to read about the threat handed down by Oba Akiolu to the Igbos in Lagos. While it is understandable that a Royal Father would want for his wishes to be carried out, we are deeply concerned that the royal father is missing the point that Nigeria is a republic and a democracy and not a monarchy.

“We understand the genuine fear of the great Oba of losing Lagos to strangers. But Lagos has been one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Africa for decades and any citizen contributing to its economy and politics can be a bonafide resident. As such, the upstages as happened in the last elections are to be expected. Nevertheless natives and non-native residents should feel free to negotiate and clarify expectations but not in the threatening and intimidating manner the revered Oba has lashed out.

“We have just a few interrogations: why single out a particular ethnic group for this curse? Does it mean a Yoruba or Hausa person living in Lagos who votes for Jimi Agbaje will go scotfree but any Igbo who votes for Agbaje will drown in the Lagoon?

“Does it mean that people should vote out of fear and not their consciences? Would such an election be free and fair, where people have to vote out of intimidation?

Does not the threat of the Oba Akiolu amount to voter intimidation?

“We humbly call on the Oba himself to withdraw his curse and rather appeal to the people, for indeed such a threat may amount to playing God and God who is a merciful father will not allow his children to die so senselessly just because they were fulfilling the dictates of their conscience. The fact that APC is government at the centre is a strong factor to employ and appeal to people to vote APC rather than invoking ancestral powers for destruction. Why is it that in Africa we usually invoke our powers for destruction and not for building-up?”

Signed…

Fr. Evaristus Bassey
Executive Secretary
Caritas Nigeria and JDPC
Abuja


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  • Maitama Tambari

    I thought we are over this nonsense from religious groups meddling into politics. The Catholic should know that its memberships are spread between the Ndigbos and Yorubas, too. It is wrong for Ndigbos to rush to the Churches to cause another disaster after disarming the danger confronting Nigeria in the last election where money was used to buy religious groups favor by one party to the other. GMB had done very well to bridge the gap between communities from various competing sections of the country. Religious groups should keep out of politics.

    • gwangwala

      Dont join buhari into this issue. I can swear with any thing that GMB will not accept the action of the oba in the first.instance. in democracy u canvasse.for votes as GMB did, not just go round threathening a given ethnic group with death because of a candidate of your choice. What if God decreed that ur candidate will not win the election? It is ungodly while we are trying to be thankfull to God for a successful election of GMB, others are trying to make Allah angry thru.their outboost.

    • divinachy

      So telling a man not to instigate genocide amounts to meddling into politics

  • Harry

    THE SAME CATHOLIC WHO COLLECTED MONEY FROM GEJ , NOW TALKING…………PLS RELIGIOUS GROUP HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS, AFTER ALL, CHRISTIANITY IS NOT THE ONLY RELIGION IN NIGERIA……….THEY SHOULD JUST FACE THEIR BUSINESS RATHER THAN BEING PARTISAN.

    • Frank Bassey

      The issue here is not being partisan. Their members are also Igbo. Should we transfer the curse to your tribe, while the Catholic church remains silent?

  • Frank Bassey

    That is APC for you – Dangerous, Violence-filled, Destruction-trailed, Anger-coloured, Hatred-injected … Ever heard a decent word on Gov. Fashola’s lips about Jonathan? Yet they are taxing Lagosians to death, and looting the treasury with their BAT Father.

    • Ibo boy

      Yorubas hardly ever take their bath. They stink like hell. traitors since the era of awo. that is apc for u

  • shawn

    Catholic is igbo

    • weere

      yorubas are tratrs nobody should ever deal with these yoruba pigs

    • Scrutiny

      I’m just curious why this Oba is this patently partisan. Is it that he fears his personal interest won’t be served by a change of the ruling party in Lagos. Happily Agbaje is also Yoruba. Otherwise, his concern would have made better sense to me. Importantly, why is the Oba blaming Igbos for the vote outcome in Lagos since it doesn’t look markedly different from the pattern in many SWestern states, at least for the presidential contest? Truth is that this is really one of the consequences of PVC and card reader. The APC had lesser leverage to manipulate the polls in their favour and are manifestly concerned that things could go against them in the governorship polls in spite of public protestations to the contrary. So, the card reader is disciplining tool not just for PDP but all parties

  • ibs

    The Igbo Catholic church that collected dollars from GEJ? No go better for you all. Awon were.

    • gej

      that fake story was circulated by the VP to Buhari—-osinbanzo–according to buhari

    • Slolo7

      Well done ibs. Don’t mind the so called catholic group who lately collected millions from GEJ to deliver Lagos to him and the PDP. The Oba is right to warn those who want to use their so called votes to install strangers at the helm of our affairs in Lagos. Enough of liberal approach to serious matters. S/W must wake up from their slumber and resist this intrusion

      • McAlfred Uta

        I thought the Oba said Jimi Agbaje is his blood relation. He is possibly in your own thinking from Onitsha or Aba? Try and go through your comments first so that you do not display crass illiteracy.

  • redeem

    separation is the only answer–this time u the ibos have d support of the ijaw nation–we can never back the fulanis again–never

  • redeem

    una vote for apc–that is not different from boko haram

  • ChristWarrior

    CATHOLIC CHURCH,

    Don’t talk too much but this one you have said is okay. You’re faced with Jihad in Lagos.
    Talking has never defeated a Jihad. Meet today with the Pentecostalists, the Baptists
    the Methodists and the Anglicans – along with the Aladura, the Chrubim and Seraphim.
    Resolve jointly to vote out the APC Islamists in Lagos in accordance with good conscience
    and public safety. That is how to defeat Islamist Jihad. Better late than never. APC MUST GO!!

    • e dey happen!

      ..THE FACE OF ISLAMIST JIHAD IN LAGOS:
      Akiolu, Tinubu, and Fashola.

    • Repeat Again

      APC is an Islamic Jihad in disguise as a political party.

      • sho

        But we know this truth as self-evident that the All Progressives Congress – [APC]
        is more or less a highly criminal organization – full of Alhajis – signifying nothing.

        • joemed

          It’s unfortunate that many christains do not consult the holy spirit before making decisions. God sent the holy spirit to teach us things to come, including the future plan of the adversaries of the body of Christ , the church. APC is an enemy of the body of Christ and God in His mercy sent RCCG pastor Bosun with words, but because of lust for the world, Nigerian Christians rejected the message, and Satan the devil used the same RCCG pastor Osinbajo to achieve his objective. Remember that Satan is fake and he uses counterfeit materials, ideas and strategies that seems genuine to the spiritually blind to achieve his aims. Nigeria is in full gear to be islamized in a couple of 8-10 years, but Christians should not blame anybody because you rejected God’s message and used your fingers which belonged to Jesus to thumb print for the enemies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    • Sholoko

      Shashshshhh, no noise please, APC Lagos Leaders are in caucus session;
      featuring Alhaji Bola Tinubu, Alhaji Raji Fashola, and, the Apprentice Ambode:

      • Igbo Watch

        “Nigeria is no longer a country. It is not a country where people can live to survive.
        Nigeria is a place ruled by criminals and thieves, as well as by those who believe in
        plundering and looting.”

        ……Mbazulike Amaechi

        (Nigeria’s First Minister of Aviation in 1960)

        September 14th, 2014

  • sanetalk

    The Oba goofed but then, this political dispensation has revealed the shades of colours of our Obas. I agree with the Caritas statement though I have concerns if it is borne out of altruistic motives. During the last Good Friday sermon, the Monsignor in my church in Lekki area made veiled campaign for Agbaje and when I expressed my concerns to some friends I was told the Church had been doing some discreet campaign for him because he is a Catholic. I find such act reprehensible as our church is made up of people with different political persuasions

  • Zimmy

    If that is what the loud oba said, then may God Almighty send him there first to prepare the depths of that lagoon.

  • Okey

    Is another pogrom against the Ndigbo in Nigeria the offing ? Last election, I learnt all of them in the far North did not come out to vote but, instead, ran to the Barracks for their safety and had to remain their a few days more, surfacing only after Jonathan had accepted defeat. Now, it is Oba Akiolu of Lagos threatening pogrom against Igbos in the West should Ambode fail to win next Saturday.

    When. during collation of last Saturday’s presidential election results, persons I had considered lone-oddballs launched on the internet, a pogrom call on Nigerians to “Kill every Igbo should Jonathan win,” I thought they were alone. But now I am forced to think these oddballs were acting for the preference, behest or direct instruction of certain elites in our society. The irony and most unfortunate aspect of it all is that these elites who incite hate, and as a last resort, proceed to carry out the hate operation themselves as reported of Retired Policeman Akiolu, have worked in state institutions which primarily should instil nationalism in them and from where they had preached patriotism, tolerance and peace. But alas, they are more often than not found to be behind the source of divisions amongst ordinary Nigerians.

    But in a way Akiolu could be right. Because to the question the Catholic Church asked here: “why single out a particular ethnic group for this curse? Does it mean a Yoruba or Hausa person living in Lagos who votes for Jimi Agbaje will go scot-free but any Igbo who votes for Agbaje will drown in the Lagoon?” has an answer already in Nigeria. Which answer justifies the ilks of Rilwanu Akiolu: Since that call to “kill Igbo Igbos should Jonathan win” was made, has any of these groups falling over themselves to congratulate Buhari and Jontahan expressed revulsion or, simply, decried that call to kill Igbos. Meaning, the blood of Igbos are dispensable in appeasing angers in Nigeria. So, Akiolu could be right.

    Notwithstanding, my advice to my people in Lagos is simple: Retired Policeman Akiolu’s threat is mere swashbuckling, empty threat and utter bunkum. Instead, it is a realization and recognition of the fact that Igbos can help in deciding who becomes Governor of Lagos State and that they may dash Akiolu’s hope, if they choose to. Secondly and more important: the fact is that there are Lagosians, Yorubas and indeed, other Nigerians who DO NOT LIKE JONATHAN and at the same time DO NOT LIKE WHAT AMBODE REPRESENTS. This set of Nigerian’s voted against Jonathan last Saturday and are set to vote against Ambode this Saturday. But this set of Nigerians will not succeed without the Igbo vote. It is certain that if Ndigbo in Lagos drop just a single vote in the basket of those set of Nigerians – who do not like Jonathan and also do not like Ambode for what he represents – a huge and mighty upset will be established in Lagos. So Igbos are key to making a decision in that respect and should NEVER be frightened. Lagos and, indeed, Akiolu’s palace is run on taxes extracted from Igbo business in Lagos and therefore should exercise their franchise in any manner of their choice.

    Now, unlike Retired Policeman Akiolu, I cannot dictate or even advise any Igbo person in Lagos on who to vote for, but one thing I will let them know is, Akiolu’s threat is as empty as the air. Igbos in Lagos should vote based on their knowledge and conviction.

    • Utukpe

      The rascal oba’s proclamation should be food for thought for little minds like Rotimi Amechi. As far as an ordinary Yoruba person is concerned, anybody found after Ondo State, down to Calabar is simply “Omo Ibo”. So the Oba has literally placed a fatwa on all non-Yoruba speaking persons in Lagos State

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